Shea D Boys Stable's Bank On Shea made an inside move from mid pack to edge dual stakes-winner Dream Bigger by a nose in Saturday's $500,000 Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Jason Servis, the bay son of Central Banker arrived at the seven-furlong contest for New York-sired juveniles off a third-place finish in the Notebook on November 17 at the Big A, when six lengths in arrears of Dream Bigger.
Jockey Jose Lezcano settled Bank On Shea in sixth while longshots Moonachie and Colormepazzi battled on the front end in the Great White Way, recording an opening quarter-mile in 23.51 seconds over a sloppy and sealed main track.
Dream Bigger, tracking from third position through a half-mile in 46.97, confronted Moonachie at the top of the stretch as Bank On Shea inched his way into contention late in the turn. As Dream Bigger took command in the final half-furlong, Bank On Shea found a new gear and was on even terms with his foe. The two horses hit the wire in tandem, but it was Bank On Shea to the inside who got up first. Dream Bigger was another 3 ¾ lengths clear of stakes-winner Captain Bombastic in third.
Completing the order of finish were Moonachie, Turbo Drive, Chowda, Colormepazzi, Kierkegaard, Giant Shoes, Big Package, Tercero and Hold My Call. Brunate and It's a Risk were scratched.
“He broke well but it was kind of my plan. I saw a lot of speed. I didn't want to be involved in the speed early,” said Lezcano, who banked his fourth victory of the day. “I wanted to have one run from the quarter-pole to the wire, and it worked out today. He got to the eighth pole and I saw the other horse keep running. I said, 'maybe we won't get there,' but finally in the last three jumps, he finished. He handled [the wet track] really good.”
Bank On Shea stalked and pounced to a debut victory on July 14 at Saratoga Race Course ahead of completing the trifecta in the Notebook. Assistant trainer Henry Argueta said the talented bay arrived at the Great White Way in good order.
“He had never run before on a wet track, but the horse was doing so well in the morning. We were expecting a big race,” said Argueta. “The other horse [Dream Bigger, No. 13] opened up a lot, but when he [Bank On Shea] ran at Saratoga he was covered up and when he got to the clear, he took off. At the top of the stretch, I wasn't sure but when he started running, I thought he might just get there.”
Bank On Shea, who returned $23.40 in triumph, upped his lifetime earnings to $329,900 after cashing a check for $275,000. His record now stands at 3-2-0-1.
Bred in the Empire State by Dr. Scott W. Pierce, Bank On Shea is out of the Uncle Mo broodmare Miss Moultree and was acquired for $110,000 out of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's April 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.
Live racing resumes Sunday at the Big A with a 9-race card highlighted by the 35th running of the NYSSS Fifth Avenue for juvenile fillies, which along with the Great White Way are the richest sire stakes races in the country offering a half-million dollar purse to each. First post is 12:30 p.m.
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